Dear Alumni, Students, Faculty and Friends,

It is with a sense of optimism—envisioning all that we will accomplish together—that I write my first column as dean of The George Washington University School of Business.

Someone asked me recently why I left NYU Stern School of Business.* My response? “Are you kidding? This is my dream job.” Our School, at this moment in time, is poised to fundamentally reinvent the way business education is delivered.

Traditionally, business schools focused on core functional areas of business, but today business and politics are intimately linked, and business has tremendous influence over both domestic and international public policy. The time is ripe for a business school to lead the conversation about the relationships among business, politics and society.

As we move forward, we will design cutting-edge programs in executive education, in fields from digital marketing (see “Effective E-mail Marketing Tactics”) to international development. And we will draw students from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund; that alone is an argument for coming here.

A new kind of MBA is rising and this school already embraces it by weaving questions of ethics, sustainability and corporate responsibility into every case our students consider. Ethics is our very core; it is at the forefront as we educate 18- to 22-year-olds, through a liberal arts foundation with cultural and language requirements that run deep to nurture and develop the whole student. And, from the moment students set foot on campus, we teach them to manage their lifelong careers through The F. David Fowler Career Center.

We will not build our reputation by matching the tactics of schools a few rungs above us on the rankings ladder. We will build it by doing the most interesting and innovative things in the world. We will educate broad thinkers who recognize the connections and opportunities among worldwide economic, political and social forces.

Established leaders are extraordinary influencers, but throughout my career, I’ve been privileged to work with extraordinary students at all levels, and I will do the same at GW. I recall an especially engaging undergraduate who used to spend time in my office when I was a young assistant professor at NYU. He went on to become a successful doctor at the Penn medical school. When he was 18 years old I thought he was one of the smartest people I’d ever met. I won’t miss grading papers, but I plan to remain engaged with students through talks, activities and an occasional run on the National Mall.

Dean Doug Guthrie

Doug Guthrie
Dean and Professor of Management
The George Washington University School of Business